Cats and Hot Sunny Weather

By Ruth aka Kattaddorra

There is a lot of publicity about not leaving dogs shut in cars in hot weather and making sure they have shade indoors and outdoors and plenty of fresh drinking water.

This is rightly so, but what about cats? They have fur coats too.

cat Jozef keeping cool
Photo by Ruth aka Kattaddorra
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles:- Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

OK so cats don’t often travel in cars for pleasure like dogs do, accompanying their owner, but they do sometimes need a trip to the vets. Distressing enough, but to get overheated on the way could cause them to go into shock, especially if the reason they are going to the vets is because they are unwell.

Routine visits to the vet should be postponed until the weather turns a bit cooler, but a cat if overheated and not responding to your cooling down, needs to see a vet urgently, so the journey can’t be avoided.

If a cat gets too hot, cool him down by wrapping him in a cool wet towel, not ice cold water, because that could send him into shock.

The places where cats get the warmest are their bellies, their pads, their armpits, under their chins and on the outside of their ears. Cool down those places with another cool wet towel. If he doesn’t quickly return to normal, phone your vet.

If he is unconscious, after wrapping him in a cool towel take him immediately to the vet as an emergency, car windows wide open to let some air circulate,

Indoor/outdoor cats are mostly sensible and move out of the sun into the shade if they can find any. Our Jozef was searching for a shady part on our front lawn today, he loves to lie in the grass.
Walter had been sunbathing on their sunroof but he came in the house to cool off upstairs where the windows are open. Jo loves to be outdoors, so Babz rigged him up a parasol and he went straight under it.

Black cats, white cats and black and white cats are more susceptible to sunstroke than any other coloured cats but all cats are in danger of overheating.

Most cats get a bit lethargic in hot weather but the main symptoms of overheating are:

  • Restless behaviour
  • Panting, sweaty feet, drooling, excessive grooming

Even indoors cats can get overheated, so they should always have access to cool shady areas and plenty of water to drink and should not be confined to one room with no air and from which they have no escape if it gets too hot.

Cats should never be shaved because this exposes their skin to the sun and can result in sunburn and the risk of skin cancer, even to an indoor cat sitting in a sunny window.

Groom your cat daily because matted fur is even more uncomfortable in hot weather, ensure he has cool places to lie and plenty of fresh water to drink, don’t take him on unnecessary car journeys and he will hopefully avoid sunstroke or heatstroke.

Ruth aka Kattaddorra

10 thoughts on “Cats and Hot Sunny Weather”

  1. What a lovely picture of Josef keeping cool and enjoying the grass.
    Yes there’s a lot said about dogs and the heat so it’s good to remind people that cats can get too hot as well.
    Thanks Ruth.

  2. I love the picture and I like the fact that your grass is long and not a manicured lawn – infact your garden looks just perfect 🙂

    • We do have to mow our front lawns because if the Neighbourhood Wardens come around and see knee high grass or rubbish laid around they give a warning to tidy up or be fined. This is a good thing because there are some people who just don’t care what the place looks like.
      The back lawns though we can please ourselves as no one sees them unless they are in our house, we leave long patches out there for our boyz and there are lots of shady nooks but contrary Jo likes to sit out the front lol
      So I often sit here at my computer with the front door ajar and a rear view mirror on my desk (really a make up mirror on a swivel stand) and one day friend called and said ‘Um excuse me asking but why have you got a make up mirror on your desk?’
      Well everything revolves round cats in our house, a neighbour calls both of us ‘Catwoman’ lol

      • Our lawn is like yours. We have to keep it short in the front, but it doesn’t matter what the back looks like, because no one is going to see it but us. I figured Marc would comment about the long grass, knowing how much he hates carefully manicured lawns!

      • You are organised. I believe that the best gardens for cats are not that manicured. Plain lawn is not good for a cat. There is no cover. Bushes, long grass and places to hide and shelter are perfect for the cat. Lawns aren’t.

  3. Thanks Ruth. Nice photograph and I like the way you built a little shaded spot for Jozef. Very simple and thoughtful idea. I’ll try it myself.

    It amazes me how cats can tolerate hot weather wearing a thick woolly coat as they do. It must go back to the African/Asian wildcat, their wildcat ancestor.

    They can overheat. For me the first sign is panting. It is unusual to see a cat panting but it does happen.

    • Red used to pant a hell of alot and Gigi pants very easily. I was worried actually. I even warned the vet before their operations.

  4. The heat here has come unexpectedly, after weeks of not so summery weather suddenly we have a heatwave so I suppose cats are unprepared for it the same as we are. A bit of sunshine is very nice but wearing a fur coat in the heat must be so uncomfortable, it was nice to see Jo using the parasol yesterday, he’s such a dear little man. This is good advice Ruth, it pretty mush says THINK about your cat and the way heat will affect him or her, don’t just assume cats can cope they do sometimes need a little help. Having said all that about the heat this morning is misty and drizzling with rain, it might mean an even hotter day when the sun burns through or maybe the heatwave is over.

  5. I love the picture!
    Monty has access to the basement all summer. Our AC doesn’t work very well. I can’t leave it on a long time or it frosts up. Even if the day starts out cool, not needing AC, it could get warm later. If it does Monty can always go in the basement. The floor down there is downright cold to the touch even in summer. He hung out down there a lot while Jeff’s parents were visiting. They don’t like AC and kept the house quite warm while they were here. Also, Monty is still a bit skittish around them. He felt safe in the basement. I gave him water down there and a second litter box. He hasn’t used it, but he did drink the water. I’m continuing the downstairs water dish and added another new water dish in the front room. He now has four water dishes. If it’s hot out I keep Monty inside. He explores the basement instead, checking out every dusty corner, coming up with cobwebs on him. At least he stays comfortable when it gets warm out. He also gets extra brushing in hot weather.


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